RE: Uppercase is coming? (U+1E9E)

From: Philippe Verdy (
Date: Sat May 05 2007 - 06:19:45 CST

  • Next message: Michael Everson: "Re: Uppercase is coming? (U+1E9E)"

    Frank Ellermann wrote:
    > For the (real) old long-s z ligature shown in the evidence I'd take
    > them as they are if I'd want to preserve a distinction from u+00DF:

    It is normal that there's no capital long s, given that the long s is an
    alternate form of the small letter s, and i don't know any example where a
    small s and a long s have a significant difference. It was there for
    calligraphic purpose, possibly because it was much easier to draw with a
    plum, when the lowercase letter was so frequent in words.

    Historically, the capitals were carved into stone, and there was no specific
    difficulty to draw a capital S in stone, even if it had curves

    But with a plum, look at how the small letter o and the digit 8 were drawn:
    actually with two mostly vertical strokes. The influence of a major
    direction for strokes was dominating in every letter form when natural plums
    were used, until plums were built with metal, allowing easier flowing of ink
    in every direction without risk of breaking it or scratching the paper
    surface, and much less risk to spray ink all over the page.

    When handwriting was improved by better plums, then there was a period where
    one could use either a small s or a long s, but often the choice was just
    stylistic: many texts contained either forms, even for the same words in the
    same texts; so there was no rule to decide which form was correct, just some
    stylistic preferences

    For example the long s was preferred if it allowed to create a ligature with
    the next letter, like s+t, s+z in German, but such preference was not
    consistently applied, even by the most well known authors that are famous
    for their contribution in a linguistic culture; only in Germany where the
    orthography sz evolved to ss, but still written as a ligature, there was the
    need to make the distinction with the ligature for ss, created preferably by
    a ligature of two long s.

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